Monday, May 21, 2007


You know the nightmares students have about finals. I typically have curious variations. Sometimes I dream that I start the finals, see the problems, and before I start doing anything, somehow the classroom transforms into social life, and then, much later, I find myself back in the classroom, only this time, it is near the end of the exam, I haven't even begun writing down the solutions, and I am exhausted from the long "dream". Recently, I saw another variation, this time as a professor: I am late and I am rushing to give a lecture, preparing what I want to say in my mind, I nearly leave my things behind on the campus bus as I race to the classroom, and then just before I enter it, relieved to have made it, I realize that it is the day of the finals and I do not have to lecture, but have to write an exam for the students! Sigh, I detour to a laundromat nearby and start jotting down problems for the finals on napkins -- recurrence, data structures, graph problem, one very difficult problem, ...


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